Remicade Treats Ulcerative Colitis
Better Results Than With Fake Drug, Researchers Report
Remicade's Side Effects
Reports of adverse effects came from similar percentages of patients taking Remicade or the placebo.
However, the Remicade groups had slightly more cases of serious infections, lupus-like reactions, and neurologic diseases, write the researchers.
Those cases included:
- 1 patient taking Remicade who had a lupus-like reaction
- 16 taking Remicade who had serious infections (compared with six taking placebo)
- 1 taking Remicade who had tuberculosis
- 1 taking Remicade who died after getting a type of pneumonia
Remicade's effects on the immune system can bring a risk of infection, the researchers note. Most of their patients didn't have such problems.
Serious side effects of Remicade include increased risk for serious and life-threatening infections, lupus-like syndrome, lymphoma, seizures, liver damage, and blood problems. Most common side effects include rash, dizziness, fatigue, and allergic reactions.
The risk for infection isn't new. Remicade's web site states, "There are reports of serious infections, including tuberculosis (TB), sepsis, and pneumonia. Some of these infections have been fatal."
Remicade's site also notes that the drug shouldn't be taken by people with heart failure and that there have been rare and sometimes fatal cases of blood disorders and serious liver injury in people taking Remicade.
The study was funded by drug companies Centocor Inc. and Schering-Plough. Centocor markets Remicade in the U.S.; Schering-Plough markets Remicade in most other countries.